RSPCA inspectors have collected several birds caught in an oil spillage on the north Kent coast.
The birds were found covered in thick, black sticky fuel oil. They include eight red throated divers, two of which had to be put to sleep to end their suffering, two guillemots and a dunlin who sadly died.
They all came from the Ramsgate harbour area except for one of the divers which was picked up in Rye harbour.
They are being cared for by the RSPCA Mallydams Wildlife centre in Hastings.
RSPCA wildlife supervisor Richard Thompson said: “Birds like these, that are used to spending all their lives on the water, are difficult for us to manage but we have the expertise and will do our best for them.
“The oil we are dealing with is very caustic and the two we have had to put to sleep had ingested a lot of it.
“It is important we work as quickly as we can to see if we can clean them enough so that they can float, because they very quickly wear down their feathers when they are edging round our containers and their feet can crack badly when they are out of the water for a long time.”